Senate Bill No. 160

Introduced By bartlett, estrada, ellingson, brooke, waterman, masolo



A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act authorizing a name change petition to proceed on a sealed-record basis when probable cause is shown that the safety of the petitioner is at risk; amending section

27-31-201, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date and an applicability date."



Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:



Section 1.  Section 27-31-201, MCA, is amended to read:

"27-31-201.   Order setting hearing date -- notice -- safety. (1) When a petition setting out the matters contained in 27-31-101 or 27-31-102 is filed, the court or judge may appoint a time for hearing the petition. Except as provided in subsection subsections (2) and (3), notice of the time and place of hearing the petition must be published for 4 successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county, if a newspaper be is printed therein, but if no in the county. If a newspaper be is not printed in the county, a copy of such the notice must be posted in at least three public places in the county for a like period 4 successive weeks.

(2)  No publication Publication is not required for a change of name of a minor under 27-31-101 if both parents and all legal guardians consent in writing.

(3) The court may allow a petition to proceed on a sealed-record basis when probable cause is shown that the safety of the petitioner is at risk. THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE PETITION MAY PROCEED ON A SEALED-RECORD BASIS MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO THE HEARING ON THE PETITION. ALL PAPERS AND RECORDS PERTAINING TO THE SEALED-RECORD PETITION MUST BE KEPT AS A PERMANENT RECORD OF THE COURT AND WITHHELD FROM INSPECTION. A PERSON, OTHER THAN THE PETITIONER, MAY NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE RECORDS EXCEPT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN AND ON ORDER OF THE JUDGE OF THE COURT IN WHICH THE PETITION WAS GRANTED."



NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Applicability. [Section 1] applies to petitions filed on or after [the effective date of this act].



NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.

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